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Sustainable packaging for the cosmetics industry: challenges and opportunities

SpecialChem / Imogen Matthews – Sep 1, 2010

Sustainability is the new buzz word in cosmetics. Beauty brands are looking for environmentally friendly packaging that does not compromise their glamorous image. Cardboard is a natural resource and the only packaging substrate that is truly sustainable. A wide range of environmental alternatives include water based varnishes with a variety of finishes, so that expensive UV coatings and inks are not necessary.Cradle to cradle is a term used by brands such as Aveda who are looking to reduce packaging materials, while optimizing product performance. Aveda’s goal is for the recycled content of its packaging to be 100% post consumer material content.A number of beauty brands are looking to make their packaging greener, such as The Body Shop, Boots, L’Oreal, Soap & Glory, Mavala, Neal’s Yard and Nude.Retailers are also starting to act more sustainably, introducing sustainability score cards, such as the Wal-Mart score card and EU green dot fees.Stylish attractive packaging is intrinsic to any beauty product wanting to portray a luxurious and glamorous image, but these days it jars with the growing need to be sustainable. Pressure is coming on all sides from retailers and government organizations {such as WRAP* in the UK} to adopt sustainable packaging practices. Meanwhile, consumers are questioning the need for multiple layers of packaging that are difficult to separate into the right containers for recycling...

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